Back in February Blizzard announced that they were working to integrate the Auction House into the Armory so that players could review the Auction House while they were a way from the game. The the post was short on details but that didn't stop people from predicting doom and gloom or saying this would be a huge advantage for gold sellers and the like.
The details of this new service were announced today, and I am sure we will see a new round of dire predictions about the future of AH PvP. In this post I will give my reaction to this new service.
The Free Services:
All cool stuff that I don't think anyone can really be unhappy about. There are many times that I am tied up crafting, raiding, leveling, or something when I have a little extra time and want to check the AH quickly. I may just want to see if something sold or maybe I'm looking for a deal but it will be nice to not have to log on to a bank to see the AH.
- Browse the Auction House
- Get real-time notifications when your auctions sell or expire
- Get real-time notifications when you win auctions or when you are outbid
- View your characters' current gold
- View the status of your auctions and search for similar auctions
- View the items you can sell in your bags, bank, and mailbox
- View the status of auctions you are bidding on
- View the items you've sold in the Auction House
- View your expired auctions
- View the status of auctions you created
- View your successful auctions
The only question I have here is if there is any level requirement to use the Web AH? Toons have to be level 10 or higher to be viewed on the Armory. Since most bank toons are level one or close to that, this could put a big downer on this service. I know it isn't hard to level a toon to 10, but I would rather not spend the time.
The Premium Services:
For $2.99, you can receive the following services for 30 days.
In the FAQ Blizzard answered a very important question.
- Bid on auctions
- Buy out auctions
- Create auctions from items in your bags, bank, and mailbox
- Collect gold from successful auctions
- Collect gold from unsuccessful bids
- Collect all outstanding gold with a single click
- Cancel your auctions
- Relist items for sale from your expired auctions
Is there a limit to the number of transactions (purchases and sales) I can make?Mostly it allows you to do what you already can do in game without addons, but it does add three features that I hope make it into the game version.
Yes. In order to help prevent abuse of this service, there will be a system in place to limit the total number of Auction House transactions (including bids, buyouts, and creating auctions) that a single World of Warcraft account can perform through World of Warcraft Remote each day. For the purposes of the beta test, the limit is set to 25 transactions per day per World of Warcraft account. When the Remote Auction House beta test ends and the live World of Warcraft Remote service launches, we plan to increase the limit to 200 transactions per day (with a World of Warcraft Remote subscription), though this limit is subject to change. Our goal with this system is to ensure that most players who are using the service will not reach the limit, and we will be continuously monitoring how the service is used and making adjustments to the system as needed.
1. "Collect all outstanding gold with a single click." For big AHers that can be a lot of mail. Basically you would be opening dozens if not hundreds of pieces of mail with a single click. That would save a lot of goblins a lot of time.
2. "Relist items for sale from your expired auctions." Assuming relisted auctions can have a new price, this would effectively eliminate the mailbox from the AH equation. If it doesn't sell, just relist it. If it does sell collect the gold with a single click.
3. "Create auctions from items in your bags, bank, and mailbox." I currently have 3 alts devoted to selling inscriptions. I have to have 3 because it takes that many to hold all the glyphs in the game in player bags. If I could post auctions from my bank I could consolidate them into one toon.
I'm not entirely sure it would work, but if these three things were added to the ingame version of the AH it would be huge for Goblins.
I think a lot of the doom and gloom predicted 3 months ago was unreasonable, and I doubt these changes will have a major impact on how the AH operates.
No Addons: Most of the doom and gloom I've seen predicted ignores the facts of the current AH game. To really play the AH, you need addons. You need addons to scan the AH and find the market price and current price for items. You need addons to list multiple items with a single push of the button. You need addons to search for deals and purchase them quickly.
I don't know if it is possible to write a program that will perform these tasks outside of the game, but even if it is possible there is the question of legality. Blizzard has long banned third party applications like Glider that automate the game outside of the LUA language. It wouldn't surprise me if Blizzard took the same view for AH automation, and started handing out bans for using such programs.
Transaction Limit: It's also important to take note of the transaction limit. With only 200 transactions a day it would be difficult to do any serious trading with automated transactions. Even on my slowest AH days I listed over 300 items in a day. At my peak, I would probably listing close to 2,000 auctions a day. A 200 transaction limit is pretty high if you are doing everything by hand, but with automation it you could blow by it in minutes. Therefore there is very little incentive to automate anyway.
Who Would Use The Premium Service?
Lets take a look at it from the perspective of several AH user types.
Casual AH Users: I don't know why they would spend the money to get access to the premium services. If money is no concern then they may buy it for the convenience, but most will probably stick with the ingame AH. If they do buy it, then it will help them look for deals, or list things when they can't get to the computer. They would use it purily for the convenience.
Moderate AH Users: People who stick to fairly small markets within the AH could really be helped by the premium services. They aren't listing a ton of auctions so the 200 limit shouldn't be an issue. They are also in few enough markets that it is easy to search for deals by hand. For example if you're in the flask market it is easy for you to search for deals on Lichbloom and Frost Lotus without the help of an addon. Again though I'm not sure why these people would buy the premium service. The extra money they would make would be hardly worth the 3 dollars a month they pay.
AH PvPers: I can see why these people would pay for the service. They play the AH as a game and gold is a way of keeping score. Anything the helps them get a higher score is valuable to them. However, the lack of automation and and transaction limit will limit how useful the the service is for them. I think they will primarily use the service to look for deals. You may not be able to list hundreds of glyphs, but you can look for cheap herbs to buy. Also, the truly dedicated can manually search the AH for deals on high value items in the hope to relist them at a profit.
Gold Sellers: I see Gold Sellers as another form of AH PvPers except that if anyone can automate the web AH it is these guys. That said, I don't see the benefit of doing it. These guys play wow for a living. They don't need to access the AH when they are outside the game because it shouldn't be a problem for them to stay logged into the game and just scan the AH.
I think all of the of the services being made available with the new Web AH sound great. I would love to have access to them all as a player. However, the free services while convenient lack any real power or significance. Yes, I can check the AH from work, but I can't do anything about it without paying for the premium service. Unfortunately, I see little reason to purchase the premium service. I couldn't maintain my wow industry when I'm outside of the game because the web based service lacks addons and the transaction limit prevents be from posting as many actions as i would need to.
Beta Testing: If you would like to test the new web based AH you can find the necessary information here.